tv Meet the Press NBC February 26, 2017 8:00am-9:01am PST
and the russia connection. president trump thrills supporters with his attacks on the press. >> a few days ago i called the fake news the enemy of the people and they are. they are the enemy of the people. >> but could his media attacks be designed to distract attention from those disturbing russia stories that juston't go away? i'll ask republican tom carton of arkansas who sits on the senate intelligence committee. also, those angry town halls. can republicans afford to ignore the growing opposition to repealing and replacing obamacare? plus, meet the new boss. former labor secretary tom perez elected the head of the democratic party.
>> where were you in 2017 when we had the worst president in the history of the united states? >> but the party's growing progressive wing is not happy. i'll talk to tom perez about healing a divided party, and our brand new nbc news/wall street journal poll. the bad news for president trump, an approval rating at a historic low. the good news, his supporters are as enthusiastic as ever. joining me for insight and analysis are jerry gerry saa ebb of the wall street journal, helene cooper of the new york times, and eliana johnson of politico. welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press qwest qwest. from nbc news in washington, the longest-running show in television history, celebrating its 70th year this is "meet the press press" with chuck todd. good sunday morning. the president's approval rating
stands at 44% with 48% disapproving. that is the lowest rating ever recorded in our poll at this early stage of a presidency. it took president obama 32 months to fall into negative territory and george bush 42 months to fall under rocky water. mr. trump's approval rating suggests a durable floor of support for him. that support comes almost entirely from republicans who approve of the president by 86% and democrats disapprove by exactly 86 to 9. it is independences that put him under water. they disapprove by a nine-point margin, 38 to 47. one issue that doesn't seem to hurt the president right now at least in the eyes of his supporters are the reported ties he and his aides may or may not have with russia. whenever stories break on that
subject, press bashing which is always part of the president's arsenal seems to escalate. >> i'm against the people that make up stories and make up sources. >> it's a tactic with a pattern. the president's attacks on the media repeatedly have directly followed reporting on russia. on january 5th, nbc news reported on the intel jeligence report. on january 6th, president trump tweeted i am asking the chairs of the house and senate committees to investigate top talent prior to me seeing it. on january 13th, 14th and 15th, news outlets reported on president trump's ties to russia. president trump spent much of a 77-minute news conference attacking the media. >> the leaks are real.
the news is fake. media outlets reported that reince priebus asked the fbi to publicly discredit a new york times story on russia after the fbi's dp director reportedly told him it was overblown. on friday, the president went after the press. >> i want you all to know that we are fighting the fake news. it's fake. phony. fake. >> trump administration officials acknowledge on friday that white house chief of staff reince priebus did ask deputy director andrew mccabe to push back on news stories about contacts between trump aides and russians during the campaign. days earlier priebus had said this on "meet the press". >> i've talked to the top levels of the intelligence community, and they've assured me that that new york times story was grossly overstated and inaccurate and totally wrong. later on friday the washington post quoted both house and senate intelligence committee chairman saying that administration officials also
enlisted them in conversations with reporters. conversations that priebus also mentioned on "meet the press qwest qwepress". >> and in fact, devin nunez who is on the house intelligence committee went on the record after he was informed by the fbi as to that story, and what did he say? he said it was total garbage. >> the drip, drip, drip is making even some republicans in congress wary. on friday republican congressman darryl issa who was narrowly reelected said he was open to a special prosecutor to investigate russia interference in an election. >> you can't have someone, a friend of mine, jeff sessions who was on the campaign and who was an appointee. you will have to use the special prosecutor statute and office. >> senator tom kontinof arkansas is a member of the select committee on intelligence and would be involved on any
administration's ties to russia. he got an earful from arkansans who called for repealing and replacing obamacare. [ crowd chants "do your job" ] quite a week for you, senator contin. >> great week. >> nothing wrong to be a part of democracy in action. >> any time you can get 2200 of your constituents is a good thing. >> are you concerned with the white house contact, in particular the fbi and the chairman of the senate intelligence committee since your committee announced its investigating all of these allegations of russian int interference in the election. >> let's step back. russia is not our friend. vladimir putin is kgb, has
always been. they've been examining russia's attempt to undermine our interest around the world. we have said that we will undertake in a bipartisan fashion an inquiry into everything that russia tried to do in our election process last year. if that leads to potential contacts between trump associates and the russian government, then we'll explore those, as well. one of the things i did before i left for home was have an hours-long hearing on these matters. i am confident we'll proceed wherever the facts take us. what you're talking about is what reince priebus said last week. this is not something the white house has tried to conceal. >> it doesn't matter if it concealed. is it appropriate, though? >> let's take the cnn article on face value. i'm not going to confirm or deny anything on these stories because these leaks of classified information could do real harm to our national security, but let's take it at face value. the fbi went to president trump
and reince priebus and said that reports of contacts between trump associates last year and russian intelligence officials were grossly overstated. isn't it reasonable for the chief of staff to then say to the fbi director are you going to say anything to correct the record on this since everyone is running around washington making these allegations? i think that's a perfectly reasonable response. the fbi have reasons why they don't call balls and strikes on the stories because we don't want to let our adversaries know what we know and what we don't know and how we know it. that's alarming. >> let's go to the issue of the white house trying to enlist the chairman of the two intelligence committees and in particular, senator burr who has already announced an investigation. was that appropriate? >> reince priebus said last weekend devin nunez was saying this on the record. the white house was trying to ensure that the media had more access to information. that's what the cnn story said about reince priebus.
>> were you contacted by the white house? >> i was not. >> if you had, would you have talked to the media at their request? >> chuck, i try to refrain from comment on what's happening on the arms services committee because i want to stay on the right side of the line about classified information which frankly, i wish more people in the media and more of the obama holdovers in the administration were doing. >> mike warner who is the vice chair. the intelligence committee works differently than any other committee. it is truly bipartisanly run. mike warner had concerns about this idea that the white house contacted senator burr that it could call into question about whether this will be a fair investigation. >> i think there is no doubt this will be a fair inquiry. we are well under way and it's been conducted in a bipartisan fashion and democrats and republicans have been working well on it and there is a limit to what we can discuss publicly and the eight democrats know what we learned and i would encourage them to tell the other 40 democrats in the senate what
they may and may not want to be saying so they don't get over their skis making false allegations or other allegations. >> before you said this to go to the recess to go back home that it was a hearing. was that a hearing that you had with director comey? is that how we should describe that? >> i will want discuss what we may or may not -- >> you called it a hearing. >> every time we meet i call it a hearing. we had an hour's long hearing on these very topics. >> i want to ask you about the darryl issa being open to a special prosecutor. what point is it in the best interest of the country to sort of take it away from elected partisans at this point whether it's a commission. i know a select commission, outside commission or a special prosecutor. where are you in this? >> i think that's way, way getting ahead of ourselves here, chuck. there are no allegations of any crime occurring and there's not even indication that there's criminal investigations under
way from the fbi as opposed to the investigations of the intelligence bureau. if we get down the road that's a decision that attorney general sessions can make at the time. >> the senators are getting calls on their own. you called during your campaign against mike prior. you called for a special prosecutor for the irs. how does this russia allegation, when does that rise to that level n your mind? >> i think that's far down the road from what our inquiry might reveal in the intelligence committee and that's something that can be decided down the road and right now there's no credible evidence of these contacts beyond anonymous sources in the media and anonymous sources can't always be trufrted. >> anonymous sources is how we find out about a lot of scandal. >> anonymous sources said bannon confronted john kelly and is not true, you cannot credit stories that are based on anonymous sources. you should look into them if
you're in a position of responsibility, but you can't simply credit them. >> you got an earful from a town hall. tell me your big takeaway from that. does that say -- you've been one of these advocates saying we can't repeal obamacare until there is a replacement that the public can see. does that make you more determined than ever to say slow down. get this replacement right before the exuberance on repeal? >> we have to get health care right. our health care system has had problems going back decades and obamacare didn't solve them and it didn't because the access to doctors is still strained. what we saw over this past week is anxiety and stress that americans feel about health care. i know families that have been helped by obamacare that feel that anxiety and stress and i know families that have been hurt by it and health care is a stressful thing and when we repeal obamacare we have to get it right and we have to make sure that our solutions deliver personalized care for all
americans that they have control, choice and freedom over their health care. >> that promise sounds good. do you understand why some people think that's an impossible promise to keep? to make it affordable, make it wider. it seems like you're selling something that can't be done realistically. >> i know a lot of americans are skeptical about their government on a whole host of issues and they should be given the poor performance from recent years from our government, but i think we should trust the american people. we can make our health care system more flexible and more personalized and more affordable for everyone and still address the problems that boomcaobamaca the coverage for pre-existing conditions and so forth and that's what we'll do. >> john boehner in a speech said they're not going to repeal obamacare. they'll end up repairing it. is that how they'll end up looking to a vast majority of people that it's basically a
repair of obamacare with a conservative vision? >> we've had four elections about obamacare. >> and we're not going to have a fifth one, are we? >> in three of those elections the republicans won big victories because we promised to repeal obamacare and to fix the system once and for all. we would not keep faith from the american people if we did not keep our word from the elections. >> senator tom contin. appreciate it. >> as republicans have been greeted at town halls, many democrats are simply calling for all-out resistance to everything that president trump touches. >> we are going to dump trump! dump trump! >> as long as the president continues down this path, there is nothing democrats can work with him on. >> let resistance plus persistence equal progress for our party and our country. >> so that was the backdrop to yesterday's election of former labor secretary tom perez as
chairman of the democrat committee. he defeated in a close race that was closely watched. many supporters made their displeasure clear when donna brazile, the outgoing chair announced the results. >> little did they know that tom perez was about to announce that keith ellison was going to be his deputy chair. with the democrats in their weakest position in 100 years, the first job will be to unite the party and try to lead them out of the wilderness. mr. perez joins me now from atlanta. mr. chairman, congratulations. >> thank you, chuck. it's great to be with you. >> let me start with the fact that that was a pretty divided room, all intraparty elections can feel personal and feel petty, but the fact of the matter is you do have sanders
supporters from the primary who were skeptical of the clinton wing of the party and see you as nothingmore as an extension of that, how do you unite this party without making it an anti-trump party as a way to unite it. >> i thought we had a great day yesterday, chuck, and deputy chair ellison and i, we were there together. we were united, and our unity is our greatest strength and frankly, our unity is donald trump's greatest nightmare. he's already tweeting this morning about the election being rigged and frankly, he ought to be looking at the u.s. election last november through special council. what we saw yesterday, chuck, not only in atlanta where the democrats were gathered, but we saw up in delaware great examples of how we are putting our activism into action. we had a special election there for the state senate seat, and the state senate hung in the balance. it was a tie.
a lot of money was invested in that race by both sides, and we had 500 volunteers coming in. our revolution, the dnc, grassroots activists, all coming together and we won that race that's the energy and the most frequent question i get is how do we translate energy into action? yesterday was a great example not only here in atlanta where congressman ellison and i and the entire family of democrats came out very united, but in delaware, we've got a race right here. >> okay. >> in cobb county, georgia, for district 6, and we'll do the same thing here. so i'm very excited about the road ahead. we need to make sure we're electing candidates from the school board to the senate and yesterday was the state senate. >> let me show the hole that you're in as a party and the hole which is surprising considering you had the white house for the last eight years. since 2008, here's the financial hole. the republican national committee has outraised the democratic national commit we
barack obama as the president of the united states and head of the democratic party by over $200 million over that eight-year period. and then look at the results. you know them. a loss of 11 senate seats, 63 house seats and 12 governorships and nearly 1,000 state legislative seats and i know you've been talking about this grassroots approach, grassroots approach, but the fact is this party got gutted while you had a democrat in the white house. >> well, we have to rebuild our parties in the 50 states and the territories and that's exactly what we're going to do. we also have to redefine our mission. we not only elect the president of the united states, but we elect people from the school board to the senate and everywhere in between, governors, secretaries of state, treasurers and attorneys general, and it started yesterday in delaware, and i'm very excited about that, and i think there's an acute understanding that where we fell short is that we didn't invest enough in those state parties. when we lead with our values and
when we lead with the strong infrastructure and when we make house calls and live in every zip code and i've traveled ten states over the last five days, chuck, and that's why my voice is scratchy. >> right. >> the democratic party hasn't been there for us recently. we have to make sure we have an every zip code strategy. that's exactly what we're going to do. these investments in grassroots organizing because our values are the right values, but we've got to put those values into action. >> i want to put up a quote that howard dean used in his presidential campaign and some would argue that his tenures is perhaps one of the most successful tenures in the modern history of the party. i still want to be the candidates for guys with confederates flags in the pickup trucks and we can't beat george bush unless we appeal to the broad section of the democrats. that quote could be active today when it's rural america. do you think you've lost touch
culturally, economically or both? >> think we have to underscore that economic message. in ohio, i went out there, and i talked to voters. what they heard from donald trump is i'm going to bring your coal jobs back. that's a lie, but what they heard is that he felt their pain. what they heard from us is that we vote for us because we're not him, and we have to make sure we're communicating our affirmative message. we stand for good wages. we stand for social security. we
stand for retirement security. we brought this nation medicare. the republicans are trying to voucherize medicare and privatize social security. donald trump wants to eliminate overtime pay for people. donald trump wants to -- he doesn't care about raising the minimum wage, but we have to communicate these messages consistently in every zip code because i learned in my trip across this country during this campaign that a lot of people do feel forgotten, and we will not allow that to happen. we will be in every zip code.
>> what is, though, you're out there and even the words impeachment was thrown a lot during the democratic gathering and this idea of resistance and even hillary clinton calling for resistance of the party. if that's the message, does that mean, is that a signal to the senate and house democrats you can't work with president trump no matter what he proposes? >> well, he hasn't proposed anything but chaos and carnage. >> he's talking about a trillion dollar infrastructure proposal and something that bernie sanders has been talking about for a decade. >> we see no evidence, chuck, of anything constructive from this president. hours into his presidency he made it harder for first-time homebuyers to buy a home. a few days later he tried to make it harder for people to save for retirement. he nominates someone to head the labor department who wants to gut overtime pay. he is continually talking one way, but i judge people by their
actions. look at the ill-advised and frankly, racist executive action against muslims. he has governed from the far right in everything he's done, and -- >> are you comfortable with the democrats being known as the party of no now? >> the democrats are the party of opportunity and inclusion. we are going communicate our message whether it's through lawsuits like the state attorneys general did to stop the muslim ban, whether it's through actions yesterday at the polls in delaware and hopefully april and congressional
six right here in georgia, and we're going to communicate that message that we are the party that lifts your wages. we are the party that preserves your health care. we are the party that's going to be fighting for middle-class security every single day and an opportunity for everyone. >> tom perez, i've got to leave it there. congratulations on your new positions and we'll be watching and probably see you on this show in the future. >> thank you. later in the broadcast, more
on those angry town halls. >> they're not getting what they need. >> are we looking at a brief burst of enthusiasm or is this the beginning of a durable movement on the left that will be felt at the polls in 2018? and then generational warfare. it's the baby boomers versus the millennials fighting to shape the future of the country. i'll explain coming up. their experience is coveted. their leadership is instinctive. they're experts in things you haven't heard of - researchers of technologies that one day, you will. some call them the best of the best. some call them veterans. we call them our team. ♪ [one is the loneliest number that you'll ever do] ♪
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welcome back. panelists here. jerry saeb, top washington editor of the wall street journal. elana johnson, national political reporter for politico and ranesh, senior columnist of the bloomberg report. as we always do, we ask the white house for any of a number of senior officials to join us this morning especially cabinet secretary, we ask for them. instead of suggesting a senior administration official or secretary, the white house offered a press secretary and so we declined. let me go to the senator contin intervi interview. gerry, it has to do with the senate interview, and he's not ready to go the darryl issa route yet. >> he was very vocal on the need
for an investigation and not independent in the way darryl issa said it, but what they've been asking for is a special select intelligence committee in congress, and i think this is where this conversation is going. i think republicans have resisted, but i think they're sending the signals in and senator contin sent one to you that optics will require an independent investigation. >> helene, it's interesting that he referred to the director comey that meeting that sort of got everybody, referred to it as a hearing. i'll take it at his word that he refers to all meetings at intel as a hearing, but it confirms at least that we knew what the topic was. >> yes. yes, it does. i think it clearly was a hearing, but i think this also shows that we're -- i think we're at the very beginning of what's going to be a long, long story. we're just seeing the tip of it now and this will go on for quite a while, and i think
that's one of the issues that has the trump administration so worked up. i think president trump is understanding that this will not go away and it will continue and that's part of the reason why he's starting to make the intelligence community and the press part of the opposition party and part of the enemy. this way he can try to discredit what comes down as it does come down. >> one dynamic worth watching here is do increasing numbers of republican congressmen decide that it is in their interest to punt this issue to punt it to the administration. >> i'm going to go in the way back machine in the meet the press way back machine. the issue was whitewater and it was democrats wringing their hands and all party control and patrick moynihan came on "meet the press." take a listen. >> is it time now for attorney
general janet reno to appoint a special prosecutor. >> yep. yep. nothing to hide. do it. get on with other things and get some good lawyer working on that issue while we all go ahead on other things. >> hearing moynihan's voice, everybody getting a charm out of that. ileana, the date on that and the time stamp on that is interesting to me. january, '94, almost a year into the presidency and whitewater was sort of this nagging issue and eventually you could tell democrats got tired of it and that was moynihan going the pupt as ramesh noted. >> there are similarities in that this is eating up an enormous amount of oxygen in washington. republicans in particular have something they want to get done. this is when they're supposed to have the most political capital and this time is getting eaten up with scandal. on the trump side, you know, i think you're seeing despite what trump talks about his hatred for the press. he's obsessed with the press.
he needs the press, and in this case the white house's attempt to manage the media narrative around this completely backfired. it was done in a really ham handed way. >> that's the problem the white house may have got themselves here. >> it's not unusual for national security officials to reach out to news organizations to talk about stories and steer them on what they see is the right path. this was not a national security stoehr. this was a political story and that's the difficulty and the issue we're talking about right now. i think you're right. the reality is as helene suggests, we're at the beginning of a long road of an investigation of what russia did and didn't do in 2016 in the campaign context. >> the other thing i would add, you know, is the conclusions could be entirely different things here. the stories have been dancing around. was there a quid pro quo between the trump campaign and russia? or trump has set himself out with his bizarre unwillingness to say anything negative about vladimir putin and his hiring of
paul manafort who had done business in ukraine for a pro-russia guy. it could be that trump actually in the back of his head has done what similar presidents have done which is he wants a reset with russia. he has an illusion that he can reset relations with russia and has a psychological reset button in the back of his head and it could be nothing. >> there's also another explanation here, helene, in all of this is that the president as candidate trump if others were messing around and having improper context they may have kept him out of the loop which may explain why he gets so upset. there's always another explanation. >> there's always another explanation and that is certainly one of them. one would think that -- >> do you think doth protest too much? >> no, you're playing the -- you're playing devil's advocate which i appreciate, and i think that's quite possible. what concerns me more, i think, is just the demonization of the
media as the opposition party. that, to me, smacks of someone who is worried that something else is coming down the line, and if he turns the media into the mouthpiece of the democratic party then it's just us against them. i wonder whether that is what's going on here. >> well, i think all of us agree, i don't think we all feel like enemies of the state or any of that stuff over the opposition party and speak of the opposition party, when we come back we'll talk more about the actual opposition party and the democrats. in a moment, we'll speak to the in a moment, we'll speak to the governor who will be the with every early morning... in a moment, we'll speak to the governor who will be the every late night... and moment away... with every click...call...punch... and paycheck... you've earned your medicare. it was a deal that was made long ago, and aarp believes it should be honored. thankfully, president trump does too. "i am going to protect and save your social security and your medicare. you made a deal a long time ago."
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that i ended the tom perez. the democrats being the party of no and anti-trump, that doesn't seem to be your comfort zone. is it moving too fast in that direction, in your opinion? >> i'm not sure it's moving that fast. there is a lot of anxiety, anger and protest going on. you look at someone like tom perez. he was his live-through bias and prejudice. he's spent years fighting for social justice and civil rights, and he also as secretary of labor did more to think about how do we reeducate people for the next generation of jobs than just about anybody? he's a constructive person. he's got lots to criticize and that's part of his job, but he brings a broad background to the job. >> i hear you, but you have hillary clinton saying resistance. using that actual word which for a clinton, any clinton just seems like a shock to the system, but you heard chuck schumer say dump trump. he's the senate democratic
leader. a week after the election, he was saying if we agree with him we'll work with president trump and that seems to be gone, and is that going to bite the democrats at some point? >> well, i don't know. i think some of them, people like senator schumer has got to be thinking back to when president obama was first elected and within a couple of weeks that same kind of anger was being used against him and they would do anything to beat him, and they would take every single possible opportunity to try to embarrass him and make sure he's defeated during his reelection. i think you can't blame anybody for being that upset, and also there's been a lot of problems in the first month of the first month of the administration. >> let's talk about your political victories at times. you're a guy that's defended fracing. you're a guy that's been a proponent of charter schools and is that one of the explanations that why you as a democrat have been able to win in years that
the democrats haven't? is it things like that, challenging preconceived notions? >> part of it is i've been blessed to have a lot of very smart, hardworking people, many of them young people who work their fingers to the bone on these campaigns and it's a tough job. part of it is i came from a small business. i understand jobs, and i really understand what it's like to be laid off. i was out of work for a couple of years and we built a company that hired a lot of people and being able to talk about jobs when so many people feel like they're not being heard and really try to listen. when i campaign i don't tell people so much what i think. i try to hear what they're feeling. >> it's interesting to hear you talk about being an entrepreneur, owning a small business. again, fracing, charter schools. there are some republicans in blue states that talk about those issues, too. my point is that, is it -- are you sending a subtle message to the democratic party hey, you
marginalized yourselves a little bit? >> no. i think there are lots of places. colorado was the first state where we actually found a way -- we brought all of the oil and gas industry together with the environmental community and we found a way to put a cap. every single well gets visited every year to make sure there is no leakage. it's about collaboration and that's part of the background of the restaurant business and part of the west, the mountain west is people through experience, you have to work together to really make progress. >> all right. you're the governor of colorado. so marijuana will always be a question from a national reporter. let me ask you this on the regulation side. the federal government has never enforced the federal law which has allowed colorado to set up the recreational use business. there is a new attorney general and we know jeff sessions as a senator was opposeded to it. you're blessed as a governor to have senators from both parties, that's always a good thing no matter who is in charge.
what do you hear from your rep rech colleagues about whether jeff sessions will enforce federal law and shut down recreational use marijuana businesses. >> i opposed it and most elected officials did. voters passed it. it's in the constitution. i took a solemn oath to support our constitution. it's the sovereignty, the states have a sovereignty just like the indian tribes have a sof rentee and the federal government does. >> you don't think it's clear that the federal government could stop you. you don't think it's a clear-cut case? >> certainly. it's never my choice to be in conflict with federal law. let's make that clear. >> okay. >> senator gardner had talked to mr. sessions before he was confirmed, senator sessions at that point, and was led to believe that senator sessions said, you know, enforcement of marriage was not going to be their primary -- it wasn't worth rising to the top and becoming a priority, and the implication was you don't have to get --
don't go craze owe this. obviously things might have changed and we have to see what happens, but there are over 60% of american people are now in a state where either medical or recreational marijuana is legalized and it's become one of the great social experiments of our time. >> if this were put on the ballot today, would you now support it? >> i'm getting close. >> i don't think i'm quite there yet, but we have made a lot of progress and we didn't see a spike in teenage use. if anything, it's come down in the last year and we're getting anecdotal reports of drug dealers. if you get rid of the black market, you get addictions and unintended consequences of legalized marijuana. maybe the system is better than what was admittedly a bad system to begin with. >> john hickenlooper, democratic governor from colorado. i know you're here for the governors meeting and you have more meetings to go to. >> i do. >> when we come back, the new generation gap. remember anti-vietnam and
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administration, and it may have the biggest long-term political impact. in our new nbc news/wall street journal poll 52% of baby boomers approve of the job donald trump is doing so far while millennials disapprove. boomers are defined -- 54% of boomers say it's a necessary safeguard against terrorism while 59% of millennials say it's unnecessary and goes against american principles. on the affordable care act, 47% of boomers call it a bad idea while 48% of millennials say the opposite. this of some goes back to the divisive election we saw in november. boomers came out for donald trump while millennials failed to show up for hillary clinton. the generational divide goes beyond explicitly political issues. take foreign trade. 44% of boomers say it has hurt the united states while 50% of
millennials say free trade has helped this country. so why does all this matter? politics of today is always setting up the politics of tomorrow. the baby boomers of yesterday, weren't they on the left? you never fully know. maybe baby boomers are happy with the first part of the trump presidency and providing them a solid floor. the future of the country will be in the hands of millennial voters and they don't like a lot of what they see from this president or his policies. the question is when does that become a problem for the boomers who have helped keep many of these folks in power. when we come back, some startling evidence of how the two major parties are switching sides on key issues.
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back now with the panel. all right. democrats have a new party chair. jerry saib, you had an interesting piece talking about both political parties are going through this redefinition exercise. we saw donald trump at cpac essentially he's redefining conservatism through his vision, and democrats are still searching for what they are. they clearly are moving to the left. >> yeah. >> but party of no to what? two things. all of the energy in both parties is outside of washington right now. it's at the grassroots as trump followers and sanders followers. second, donald trump has spent as much time as an independent and democrat as he did as a republican and bernie sanders is essentially an independent. those are the two most energizing forces in the two parties. >> it's a good point. let's let people digest that. >> both sanders and trump are not really members of their own party.
>> that they lead. bernie sanders is not. and everybody who was watching that dnc meeting knows where the energy was in that party and it was with the sanders people. tom perez needs to get them at the grassroots and interestingly, he started talking to you about a state senate race in delaware. talking about getting the message and we have to get back to the grassroots. >> people talk tom perez as the moderate candidate and he was confirmed as obama's secretary by a vote of 54 to 48, or 54 to 46. he was not a moderate or uncontroversial pick by any means and i think we're seeing a real political realignment under way. trump, actually, the dave bratt which you wrote about was the tip of the spear. blue collar, lower income workers are coming in, and more
educated people are going into the democratic party. >> ramesh, look at hickenlooper. a pro-business democrat of sorts. he was trying to argue it in a different way, is there room for him in the democratic party? you just wrote a cover story of essentially defending the new nationalism. >> well, defending -- >> parts of it. >> that's right. this is a time of great political influx. we saw a few years ago where you had the situation on the republican side where you could be a pro-life, tax-cutting pro-school governor of new jersey and you are defined as a moderate by the republican party. we saw with tom perez seen as being on the left side of the democratic party and is now a moderate. it's a sign of how far that party's moving. it has not yet healed and you still see the divisions and they have two things going for them, trump and the absence of hillary clinton. >> what's interesting here, helene, there's one issue that
almost shows you how this stuff could move so fast and it's the issue of trade and just how where republicans are on trade before today, and i think we may have a graphic up there or not and where democrats were and now it's basically democrats are sounding more like free traders and republicans more of the protectionists. >> that's where you see that weird split that you were talking about within the republican party, as well. where you see the more highly educated republicans starting to shift away and the grassroots people coming from the ones who are by their very nature more afraid of free trade and feel their jobs have been going overseas. it is so weird to watch this happening, to watch the gop become the party that's opposed to nafta and opposed to the tpp. i find this stunning. >> there is another split, democratic voteser becoming more free trade and they're not. >> obamacare, town halls. i thought what was clear to me
was tom contine's language has changed. democrat tom contine would not have said as many kind comments as he has now. >> people talk about the republican primary and the general election about there was so much enthusiasm for trump and so much energy behind his candacy and journalists and others dismissed the crowds he was getting, and i think you see the energy and enthusiasm and passion shift to the democrats now and it would be dangerous for people to dismiss that. >> i think if we've learned anything in the last few years is don't dismiss energy and crowds at political events. tea party and trump rallies now and affordable care act, obamacare, i think it means something. we saw in the poll, chuck, support is ticking up as it becomes more in peril which is a natural reaction. >> the idea that president trump put out is these are professional protesters. >> by the way, if you spend money to throw a party and no one shows up you've wasted
money. if you've spent money and people show up, does it matter if they're paid? they're showing up. >> we had reporters at these town hall meetings interviewing. when gabriel talked to almost everybody at this meeting and every single one of them was a constituent. these are not necessarily, you know, professional paid protesters. the fact of the politics of health care is people fear disruption in their health arrangement imposed by washington. that used to work for the republicans when obama was degree the disrupt them. >> they'll miss the days when everyone blamed hmos. we'll be back in 45 seconds with "endgame" and why having one of the most famous names in the world may not protect you from immigration agents if you're muslim. we'll be right back. coming up, "meet the press" endgame and post game brought to you by boein
ban from the trump administration. it keeps being pushed back. there has been a consequence. muhammad ali jr. story. headline, the hometown paper of the late muhammad ali. questioned by immigration officials. born in the united states, mind you. his lawyers said officials held and questioned him for nearly two hours repeatedly asking him, where did you get your name from? are you muslim? i put up this story. today's "new york times" had the following piece. immigration agents discover new freedom to deport under trump. morale has increased ex potentially since the signing of the orders said border patrol agents and i.c.e. the point is there is clearly something has changed, ramesh, in some of these. it is -- these are stories that are not going to be politically helpful to the president. >> one of the things they'll
have to do if they're encouraging this sort of free-lancing by sort of the least restrained elements of these bureaucracies. they have to pull them back in or it will discredit all of their policies more than -- it's going to cast it in the least possible flattering light. >> this was somebody born in the united states. >> yeah. >> one of the things i think republicans and conservatives are worried about is that some of the things trump and the trump administration has done undermines the things he cares about most. i think that this is a great example. and immigration hawks in particular, i know "national review" is one of them, trump has a tendency to undermine his case. and this is a great example. >> i think that maybe the combination of those kinds of stories and the court action on the travel ban suggests that maybe going slow here -- a little slower on a subject this sensitive may be a smart course. it's not as if the idea of taking a tougher line on
immigration is not politically unpopular. how you do it does matter. >> i'm going to leave you there. programming note. nbc news provides live coverage of president trump's address to congress tuesday at 9:00 eastern. that's all we have for today. we'll be back next week because, if it's this sunday, it's the sunday after miami beach two. if it's any sunday, it's "meet the press." >> announcer: you can see more "end game" in post game, sponsored by boeing on the "meet the press" facebook page.
nbc sports home of the olympic games. the nhl. premier league. the nascar playoffs. and prime-time's number one show, "sunday night football." only on nbc. game three of a five-game home stand for the dallas stars, who look for their first three-game winning streak since december. tyler seguin leads the way for the stars with 59 points. he'll face his former team, and david pastrnak, who's been heating up once again for boston, eleven points in the last eight games.